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Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
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Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  728 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Notoriously immortalized by Shakespeare and historians, Richard III is history's most infamous royal villain. In this comprehensive, meticulously researched book, top US litigator Bertram Fields goes back more than 500 years to offer a compelling look at the case of Richard and the princes in the tower. Applying the same modern techniques, he successfully uses in the court ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 23rd 2006 by Sutton (first published September 23rd 1998)
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If the Princes in the Tower were Hollywood actors, their disappearance would be a scandal for the ages. Who am I kidding? Their death at the hands of their uncle Richard III (supposedly) is a scandal and is my favorite real-life mystery. Bertram Fields, an entertainment lawyer, breaks down the case using court/trial analysis in “Royal Blood”.

“Royal Blood” is a very unique piece, combining a traditional history portrait with a modern-day courtroom breakdown. Fit for both new-comers to the topic (
Sep 22, 2012 Delafere rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Royal Blood is informative, engaging, but also rather frustrating. It reads like a thoroughly researched term paper by someone well-versed in the subject matter, but in a hurry and unwilling to alter his already-decided thesis.

If you want to know the story of the end of the Plantagenet line, all the facts may be here. But I'm not quite sure, because there aren't the usual footnotes and references that should be in a nonfiction history, and I find that pretty unforgivable. I want to be able to

This book was impossible to put down! Fields does an excellent job of analyzing the difficult questions relating to Richard III and the princes in the tower. He expertly separates the issues of Richard's motivations for taking the throne, whether or not the princes were really killed, and if they were who did it. He quotes several sources and discusses their reliability and views the potential truths with a lawyer's eye. His research includes contemporary sources, current writers, and everyone i ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ricardians
A very interesting concept, an attorney preparing a defense of Richard III and seeing the mystery of "who done them in" from his point of view. Fields takes the reader through the history of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV, Richard III and those hated Woodvilles as he analyses the pros and cons of the histories written by the contemporaries, along with those during the reign of Henry VII.

There's enough detail on the book from other reviewers that I needn't rehash it again. I found Field's argu
_Royal Blood_ is a helpful, comprehensive, and at points even entertaining overview of the evidence for and against Richard III. While Fields clearly leans more towards the revisionist view (supporting Richard's innocence) he manages to lean without falling over, and seems more even-handed and open-minded than most authors writing on the topic. While I generally enjoyed and benefited from reading his book, however, I have several serious complaints:
1. While Fields notes the names of his sources
May 03, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thorough rendition of the many factors, events, and behaviors in an extremely turbulent period of English history, Bertram Fields lays out his analysis of one of the most enduring mysteries: the fate of the 'Princes of the Tower', the child king Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York.

Fields' analysis of the situation is thorough in its attempt to determine the guilt of Richard III in the deaths of his nephews. Indeed, by looking closely at many of the established 'facts', Fields actu
Oct 19, 2008 Brittany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good idea, but the author was too busy ragging on others' ideas about the "mystery" to give good evidence for his theory
Aug 06, 2008 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ricardians, Yorkists, and people interested in the Mystery of the Princes
Shelves: medieval-england
That footnotes do matter and I'd like to see more references.
Donna Maguire
I started to read this book as I am currently going through a Richard III phase and reading quite a few books that cover his short reign.
I was sceptical when I started to read this, being written by someone who, according to the books jacket is ‘widely regarded as the most prominent entertainment lawyer in the US’, but I am interested in hearing other people’s views on what has happened and if could really answer the mystery of the Princes in the Tower as it claimed, I was all for it as no-one e
Did Richard III murder the Princes in the Tower?

No one knows.
No one ever WILL know.

I kept wondering why the author brought up Allison Weir, until I realized -- he's conducting an unofficial legal case in which she is the Prosecutor. The flaw in that is bringing her name into it constantly, rather than merely writing opposing arguments and answering it -- this gives the book an accusatory tone, as if he has an axe to grind.

There's not a lot here for readers familiar with the individual historie
Dec 23, 2012 Luci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should really be read after Weir's "The Princes in the Tower." In this work, Fields works to shed new light on the disappearance of the sons of Edward IV. Interestingly enough, Fields uses his particular background, that of law to pursue his thesis.

Fields' work is refreshing in that, while he advocates for Richard, he is never completely convinced that Richard may not be guilty. In other words, this might be the most straightforward account of the mystery and the possible suspects. It
Oct 14, 2011 GoldGato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, autumn, royalty
I found this to be a very good take on the who-killed-the-royal-princes question that still remains unsolved centuries later. As an attorney, Fields approaches the question with a clearer eye than most, laying down the motives for each proposed murderer. Like many, I feel that Richard III received a raw deal, but history's winners dictate the final version. However, the author provided me with full research, so that I wouldn't just say it was them darn Tudors.

Read the book and decide for yoursel
Pete daPixie
Dec 07, 2008 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it
This 500 year mystery, only deepened by later Tudor re-writing of history is very expertly disentangled. The treatment of Richard III by Thomas More, Shakespeare etc.,largely remains the popular view today. Fields cross examines both the Tudor propagandists and modern writers like Weir, to show Richard in a new light. The mystery of the Prince's in the tower remains, but the likelihood of regicide committed by Richard diminishes.
Basically an interesting book; however, far too much detail in sections which also becomes repetitive. Anyone keen on this mystery of the little princes would definitely find this a valuable book though.
Jan 26, 2015 Luthien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also on my blog, Luthien Reviews.

Royal Blood is a thorough examination of the mystery surrounding the sons of King Edward IV of England, the so-called “Princes in the Tower,” through the eyes of a modern attorney.  Not long after being declared illegitimate and placed in the Tower in their uncle’s custody in 1483, the boys vanished.  Their uncle became Richard III, and rumors quickly spread that they had been killed.  Yet within a year, their mother left sanctuary and entrusted her five remainin
Michele Morrical
If you’re like me, you get frustrated when you buy a new Tudor history book hoping for an honest, balanced take on Richard III, but instead you get an author who is very clearly either a Ricardian or pro-Tudor. It’s quite hard to take a personal position on the matter when one reads materials which are so obviously slanted one way or the other.

In this pragmatic, eye-opening book by Bertram Fields, I feel like I finally got a truly unbiased approach, not only for the princes in the Tower but also
Rebecca Hill
Mar 11, 2013 Rebecca Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
Ugh. Four stars for subject matter, Richard and the princes are fascinating! But two stars for the author being a nitwit.

Had Fields simply made his case without attacking others who have also written about Richard and the princes - mainly Alison Weir - this would have been a much better text. But time and again he takes shots SPECIFICALLY at her, saying her conclusions are illogical, she's wrong, etc. But then he goes on to do the exact same things time and again that he accuses others of doing,
Dec 29, 2008 Ikonopeiston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious students of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower controversy
I found this to be an excellent and logical survey of the problem of the disappearance of the sons of Edward IV of England from their residence in the Tower of London. Fields examines all the known facts with a lawyer's eye and assigns each of them the weight he believes it would command in a court of law. What a relief from the sometimes overheated arguments of both Traditionalists and Revisionists. The only reason I have withheld a fifth star is that on frequent occasions the book seems more i ...more
Royal Blood, by author Bertram Fields could have been a great book. Mr.Fields most certainly came in to the court room, having done all his homework. In many ways, I would say that Mr. Fields went beyond the call of duty to give King Richard III as fair a trial, as would be possible. I did admire him for that, because anyone vaugely familiar with the mystery of the Princes in the Tower are concerned, the cards have been stacked against King Richard III all along.

The turn off for me, was the fact
Sep 29, 2011 Josephine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whether you are pro Richard III or one of the anti brigade this is a fantastic read. The author gives us so many facts about Richard's life and the politics of the time and so may documents are quoted. I was fascinated by the fact that depending on which side you supported, Plantagenet or Tudor there was a copy of the same document either in favour of Richard or, having been re written, saying the exact opposite. The number of sources quoted is huge and Bertram Fields lays all the facts and rumo ...more
Gerry Germond
Jan 24, 2016 Gerry Germond rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-history
I found reading it a slog. It's a careful examination of, mainly, the disappearance of the "princes in the tower" and Richard II's supposed guilt.

(view spoiler)
Apr 04, 2012 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fields' book is a refreshing addition to the subject of the Princes. Most books on this subject veer to the extremes of authors such as Kendall, who assert Richard's total innocence; to Weir, who paints Richard as being an utter fiend and monster who schemed from the beginning to take the throne. Fields effectively demolishes most of Weir's circular and self-serving arguments, yet does not completely absolve Richard of responsibility. Fields is also one of the only authors to place Richard real ...more
Kate Jesson
Jan 26, 2016 Kate Jesson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hardly ever waste my time writing a bad book review, but felt that readers should be warned to stay away from this nonsense. I was looking forward to reading this book, as it seemed that the author may have a new take on Richard III and the fate of his nephews.
It took very few pages of this book to realize that it was written not to explore a new idea, but that the author went into it feeling that Richard III was really a misunderstood good guy, and he twists facts and stretches truths to try
 (shan) Littlebookcove
So I haven't brought my self a book for a while. Well I have but not a paper one. I love a bit of history and why not one of the most “Strangest moments in history” The disappearance of the princes in the tower. For years this has fascinated people because its one of those “Who did it??”
Was it king Richard the III??? or was it some one completely Different who wanted To put Henry Tudor on the throne??
I have to say books like this fascinate Me. I've been to London tower and badly want to go ag
Oct 31, 2011 RJay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were aspects of this book that I found particularly interesting. I took copious notes about the various "historians" of the day that wrote about Richard. And appreciated insight into their various biases. Mr. Field's in-depth analysis of the sequence of events was extremely enlightening. I found myself developing timelines about what occurred when which will be useful upon future readings.

One tidbit from Mr. Field's research has me stumped ... he claims that one of the reasons he doesn't
Nov 23, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relatively recent look at the mystery of the Princes in the Town by a lawyer who I think went in with a pro-Richard bias but considers arguments as opposing lawyers would. Conclusion is like that reached a couple of decades ago in a mock trial with real and famous jurists, done I think for BBC. Somewhere between not guilty and not proven.

The best opening to the whole story is Tey's The Daughter of Time. This, however, villainizes St Thomas More, kind of tit for tat. Tey, like all other Ricardian
Apr 28, 2008 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, non-fiction
Written by an entertainment lawyer, this book provides a new look at an old mystery. Ever since I read The Daughter of Time, I've been interested in the questions surrounding the murder of the princes in the Tower, so when I saw this book in the National Portait Gallery in London, I just had to buy it. While few of the facts mentioned in the book are new, the way Fields treats the case is certainly novel. Although using our current standards of evidence to judge a 500 year old crime may strike s ...more
Stephen McQuiggan
Feb 25, 2016 Stephen McQuiggan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At last, a rational unbiased look at the evidence. Fields treats the subject as a modern day trial, sifting through the available facts in search of motive, opportunity, proclivity etc. The author takes great joy in rubbishing Alison Weir's theories, using facts and logic to brilliantly dismantle her claims. It's not that fields sets out to prove Richard innocent, it's just that he can't find the evidence to support his guilt. In fact, he posits that the two princes may never have been murdered ...more
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Bertram Fields is an American lawyer famous for his work in the field of entertainment law; he has represented many of the leading studios, as well as individual celebrities including Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Warren Beatty, James Cameron, Mike Nichols, Joel Silver, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Mario Puzo, and John Travolta.

In addition to his work with the law (which includes teaching at Stanfo
More about Bertram Fields...

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